Paul Parker

  • I like the look of Kompany

    Blog first appeared August 30 2008... 

    Everyone has been talking about the recent debuts made by the likes of Deco, Luka Modric and Samir Nasri, but for me the most impressive top flight debutant we have seen so far this season is Vincent Kompany.

    Kompany eased into the Manchester City side last weekend and looked as comfortable in midfield as he did in defence, where he ended up following injury to Micah Richards.

    What I like about the Belgian is that he seems to prefer a typical no-frills British style game - no fancy stepovers or showboating here - while remaining composed on the ball when

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  • Tevez key to Euro glory

    Blog first published on September 17, 2008... 

    It has to be said, United are not in the greatest shape heading into their first Champions League clash of the season.

    The new domestic campaign has not started as well as expected and the defeat to Liverpool at Anfield - which prompted Alex Ferguson to lament his side's "Conference defending" - only compounded matters.

    But of course, the season is young and United have yet to be unleashed on European competition. What's more, they still have plenty in reserve and despite their slow start domestically, the holders will once again be a force to be

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  • Rooney could cost us the World Cup

    If Wayne Rooney does not learn to control his aggression, I fear it could cost England the chance of winning the World Cup.

    Rooney was our best player by a mile against Ukraine, dictating the play and the man who raised the tempo. He was brilliant - and then he nearly spoiled it with one moment of madness.

    I am talking about his tackle on Oleksandr Aliyev in the second half, for which a stricter referee might have shown a red card. If I had made that tackle when I was playing, everybody would have said it was a great tackle.

    But unfortunately the laws of the game have changed and you just

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  • Tours a necessary evil

    Blog originally published on July 24... 

    For me, tours to far-flung places represent somewhat of a double-edged sword.

    On one hand, the need to expand a club's global brand is evident, considering the sheer amount of 'untapped' support in countries like South Africa and China - and the money that can be gleaned from those places.

    The very nature of modern football is such that money talks and with players being exchanged for sums which regularly exceed the £15 million mark, it is understandable that clubs look at different ways to generate finance.

    Gate receipts from a 40,000 home crowd alone

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  • Essien return key for Chelsea

    Michael Essien's timely return to fitness and form will
    be key to the remainder of Chelsea's season.

    Chelsea are on the
    up, there's no doubt about that, and while I still maintain that it's too late
    to catch Manchester United, I think Guus Hiddink's side are the one team that
    can at least push them all the way.

    I see no reason why Chelsea can't go the rest of the season
    unbeaten - and that is exactly what they need to do if they are to keep up the
    pressure on the champions.

    Since Hiddink took over at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea have been unrecognisable to the team
    that were struggling for form

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  • Money motivates

    Blog first published on September 24, 2008... 

    Arsene Wenger's leaked 'confidential' memo to his players has caused quite a stir.

    The Arsenal manager is one of the game's great thinkers and someone who is not afraid to experiment with new coaching techniques in order to get the best out of his players.

    For that I applaud him. As I do for his latest idea - a motivational handout, to be taken away by his players and digested before each game.

    Wenger is no mug - he realises that modern day footballers occasionally need reminding of their responsibilities. Too often these days, players forget what

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  • Who dares wins in relegation battle

    There are
    as many as 13 teams still involved in the Premier League relegation battle and
    it looks set to go to the wire.

    I was
    relegated once in my playing career, when Fulham went down from the second to
    the third division in 1985/86.

    We were just
    a bunch of kids playing against experienced sides who knew what it took to stay
    up.

    It wasn't pleasant, but the business of relegation has
    changed markedly in the 20-plus years since then.

    Nowadays,
    particularly in the Premier League, it is all about money. It is a question of
    how much revenue a club will lose, and there is a natural assumption that

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  • United must keep Tevez

    What the next few weeks hold for Carlos Tevez is unsure, but
    I am certain about one thing: if Manchester United allow him to leave, they
    will soon come to regret it.

    I know it's been
    said before - remember how United were expected to struggle without the likes
    of Paul Ince, Roy Keane, David Beckham and Ruud van Nistelrooy? - but this time
    I seriously believe United will suffer from the departure of a player who
    embodies the club's spirit.

    Not only does he make and score goals, his work rate is
    incredible. He is not afraid to track back, help out defensively and undertake
    the dirty work others

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  • The language barrier

    It was interesting to see Portsmouth's foreign players have been given language lessons to cope with life in English football.

    I can understand why some of them would need help in understanding what Harry Redknapp is saying to them - I played under a gruff Scotsman for many years and some of the overseas players at Manchester United had a bit of trouble understanding what Alex Ferguson was talking about.

    Certainly Andrei Kanchelskis had real difficulties with English. He was terrible, but he picked up bits and pieces here and there and always had a interpreter on hand to lend support if

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